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The Asian Reporter
Pacific Northwest News q Volume 25 Number 23 q December 7, 2015 q www.asianreporter.com
Sia video features child karate
master with Olympic dreams
at APEC summit
KARATE KID. Nine-year-old Mahiro Takano, three-time Japan karate champion in her age group, practices in Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, north of Tokyo. Mahiro
stars in singer Sia’s latest music video “Alive” — the just-released single from the singer’s upcoming album. Her kicks, turns, and punches in the air are part of kata forms
that are like choreography in the Japanese defensive martial art of karate. Kata competition is separate from combat matches, which are also part of the sport. (AP Photo/
In a backdrop of stark gray, the girl, dinner of curry and boiled eggs before
By Yuri Kageyama
wearing a white and black wig evocative of rushing to karate practice.
The Associated Press
“She was nice,” she said calmly of Sia.
Sia’s hairstyle, performs a dazzling routine
AGAOKA, Japan — She has a soft
with quick fists and kicks, and an adorably “She kept saying I was fantastic.”
spot for Duffy the Disney Bear and determined concentration of energy.
“Amazing” was the way her thoroughly
her favorite food is chocolate. She
Mahiro, a three-time Japan karate impressed mother, Masayo Takano,
does her homework before dinner but champion in her age group, found making a
remembers Sia repeatedly praising her
really loves skateboarding, playing video music video was quite fun, and agreed she
games, and bouncing on her trampoline.
would do it again, especially if Justin
“I was so excited,” her mother said,
If Mahiro Takano sounds like any nine- Bieber or Taylor Swift offers.
letting out a squeal not quite as fierce as
year-old, think again: The third-grader
The video shoot with Sia in a Tokyo the long throaty screams her daughter
from Niigata prefecture, a rice-growing suburb took about a week. She made a
makes during her karate routines.
region in Japan, stars in Sia’s latest music point to move to match the music, and “look
Mahiro — whose name means “ten thou-
video “Alive” — the just-released single cool,” Mahiro said in an interview at her sand kindness, as well as ten thousand
from the singer’s upcoming album.
home, where she was gulping down her
Continued on page 13
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